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Tom Waits On Getting Unstuck

07 Oct 2004 by Matthew Linderman

Here’s a Tom Waits feature from The San Francisco Chronicle. He offers a songwriting tip that might also apply to stuck designers:

Waits did offer one piece of songwriting advice that he tries when he finds himself stuck. “Take out your favorite line,” he says. “It’s hard to do. What you’re doing is, you’ve only got one line and you’re trying to hang everything on it. What you need is a better line.”

On how to balance family and career:

“Family and career don’t like each other,” he says. “One is always trying to eat the other. You’re always trying to find balance. But one is really useless without the other. What you really want is a sink and a faucet. That’s the ideal. Sometimes you do want it to fill up. Other times you want it to go down the drain. You usually don’t get that luxury.”

2 comments so far (Post a Comment)

07 Oct 2004 | David Erwin said...

I agree with Tom 100%. Working as an art director, I often got the over-the-shoulder view of stuck designers. They usually had one really finished element on the screen, and couldn't seem to add anything without messing it up.

07 Oct 2004 | Sean said...

That's a fantastic interview. Thanks for posting it. Tom's always good for the one-liners and crazy stories about chicken wire and carnival barkers. Y'know how people sometimes ask you to choose hypothetically your favorite people in history to dinner? Tom Waits would be seated at my table, for sure.

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